Water systemsHealth Technical Memorandum04-01: AddendumPseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmentedcare units
DH INFORMATION READER BOXPolicy                   Clinical                          EstatesHR / Workforce           Commis...
Water systemsHealth Technical Memorandum 04-01:AddendumPseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units           ...
Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitsYou may re-use the tex...
Contents             Executive summary                                       iv             Glossary and list of abbreviat...
Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitsExecutive summaryIn re...
Glossary and list of abbreviationsGlossary                                                 Biofilm: A biofilm is a complex...
Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitsRemediation: Any proce...
Chapter 1 – Introduction1.0Introduction1.1 This addendum to Health TechnicalMemorandum 04-01 is aimed at those involved wi...
Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units2.0 Pseudomonas aerugi...
Chapter 2 – Pseudomonas aeruginosa: overviewwater and leaching nutrients. The source, therefore,       2.10 Estates and fa...
Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units3.0 Design and selecti...
Chapter 3 – Design and selection of water outlets and fittings3.8 In accordance with Health Technical                  3.9...
Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units4.0 Operational manage...
Chapter 4 – Operational management  •	 likely to minimise the risk to patients,           4.13 With respect to P. aerugino...
Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitsFigure 1 Documentation...
Chapter 4 – Operational management4.14 The WSP should identify potential alert                 •	 scalding risk;organisms ...
Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitscomplicated design, co...
Chapter 4 – Operational management                                                         n. It should be ensured that:No...
Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitswater adjacent to a bi...
Chapter 4 – Operational management Figure 2 Summary of suggested water sampling and testing frequencies                   ...
Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitsFigure 3 Summary of sa...
Chapter 4 – Operational management   of normal use to prevent water stagnation and        Figure 4 Dead-leg formed by the ...
Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units  h. Assess the water ...
Appendix 1 – Best practice advice relating to clinical wash-hand basinsAppendix 1 – Best practice advicerelating to all cl...
Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitsAppendix 2 – Types and...
Appendix 3 – Water samplingAppendix 3 – Water sampling1. Sampling should be undertaken by staff trained in       sender’s ...
Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units                      ...
HTM 04-01-addendum 15-3-2013
HTM 04-01-addendum 15-3-2013
HTM 04-01-addendum 15-3-2013
HTM 04-01-addendum 15-3-2013
HTM 04-01-addendum 15-3-2013
HTM 04-01-addendum 15-3-2013
HTM 04-01-addendum 15-3-2013
HTM 04-01-addendum 15-3-2013
HTM 04-01-addendum 15-3-2013
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HTM 04-01-addendum 15-3-2013


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Latest guidance from Department of Health for Pseudomonas prevention in Healthcare environment - supersedes HTM 04 (2012 addendum guidance)

Anyone needing assistance with implementing requirements please contact enquiries@leviathanconsulting.co.uk

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HTM 04-01-addendum 15-3-2013

  1. 1. Water systemsHealth Technical Memorandum04-01: AddendumPseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmentedcare units
  2. 2. DH INFORMATION READER BOXPolicy Clinical EstatesHR / Workforce Commissioner Development IM & TManagement Provider Development FinancePlanning / Performance Improvement and Efficiency Social Care / Partnership WorkingDocument Purpose Best Practice GuidanceGateway Reference 18520Title HTM 04-01 - Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitsAuthor DH, Estates & facilitiesPublication Date March 2013Target Audience NHS Trust CEs, Care Trust CEs, Foundation Trust CEs , Medical Directors, Directors of PH, Directors of Nursing, Allied Health Professionals, Communications Leads, Emergency Care LeadsCirculation List PCT Cluster CEs, SHA Cluster CEsDescription This addendum, aimed at all those involved with patient safety and specifically estates and facilities and infection prevention and control teams, focuses on specific additional measures to control/minimise the risk of P. aeruginosa. It may also have relevance to other opportunistic pathogens such as Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Burkholderia cepacia and atypical mycobacteria.Cross Ref N/ASuperseded Docs Water sources and potential Pseudomonas aeruginosa contamination of taps and water systems Advice for augmented care unitsAction Required N/ATiming N/AContact Details Phil Ashcroft Estates & Facilities Quarry House Quarry Hill LS2 7UE 01132 545620 0For Recipients Use
  3. 3. Water systemsHealth Technical Memorandum 04-01:AddendumPseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units i
  4. 4. Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitsYou may re-use the text of this document (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium,under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/© Crown copyright 2013Published in electronic format only.The Department of Health would like to thank all those who have helped to develop and produce thisguidance, including all those who commented and sent contributions during the technical engagementphase.Photography by Zak Priorii
  5. 5. Contents Executive summary iv Glossary and list of abbreviations vChapter 1 Introduction 1Chapter 2 Pseudomonas aeruginosa: overview 2 Ecology 2 Transmission 2 Source 2 Management of control 3Chapter 3 Design and selection of water outlets and fittings 4Chapter 4 Operational management 6 Introduction 6 The Water Safety Group 6 Water safety plans (WSPs) 7 Protecting augmented care patients 10 Sampling and testing for P. aeruginosa 11 What to do if a contamination problem is identified 14 Appendix 1 – Best practice advice relating to all clinical wash-hand basins in healthcare facilities 17 Appendix 2 – Types and method of operation of taps and TMVs 18 Appendix 3 – Water sampling 19 Appendix 4 – Microbiological examination of water samples for P. aeruginosa 21 Appendix 5 – Example of a typical risk assessment to inform the WSP for augmented care units 25 Appendix 6 – Exemplar P. aeruginosa sample sheet 27 References 28 iii
  6. 6. Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitsExecutive summaryIn recent years there has been an increase in The guidance is directed towards healthcarepublished evidence relating to outbreaks and organisations providing patient care in augmentedincidents in augmented care units related to care settings. It is specifically aimed at Estates andPseudomonas aeruginosa. Facilities departments and infection prevention andIn March 2012, the Department of Health published control (IPC) teams.‘Water sources and potential Pseudomonas aeruginosa For the purposes of this document, the patientcontamination of taps and water systems: advice for groups in an augmented care setting include:augmented care units’. This addendum to HealthTechnical Memorandum 04-01 builds on and a. those patients who are severely immunosuppressed because of disease orsupersedes the March 2012 guidance. treatment: this will include transplant patientsThe document is concerned with controlling/ and similar heavily immunosuppressed patientsminimising the risk of morbidity and mortality due during high-risk periods in their therapy;to P. aeruginosa associated with water outlets andprovides guidance on: b. those cared for in units where organ support is necessary, for example critical care (adult • assessing the risk to patients when water paediatric and neonatal), renal, respiratory systems become contaminated with (may include cystic fibrosis units) or other P. aeruginosa or other opportunistic pathogens; intensive care situations; • remedial actions to take when a water system c. those patients who have extensive breaches in becomes contaminated with P. aeruginosa; their dermal integrity and require contact with water as part of their continuing care, such as • protocols for sampling, testing and monitoring in those units caring for burns. water for P. aeruginosa; and • forming a Water Safety Group (WSG) and developing water safety plans (WSPs). iv
  7. 7. Glossary and list of abbreviationsGlossary Biofilm: A biofilm is a complex layer ofAlert organisms: Alert organisms are microorganisms that have attached and grown on amicroorganisms that have the potential to cause surface. This form of growth provides a nicheharm and disease in individuals and which can cause environment for a wide range of microorganisms toan outbreak of infection in a hospital environment. interact and where the secretion ofAn alert organism is identified by the microbiology exopolysaccharides by bacteria will form anlaboratory and referred to the infection prevention extracellular matrix for both bacteria and otherand control (IPC) team for assessment of possible unicellular organisms such as amoebae and flagellateshealthcare-associated acquisition and to identify any to remain in a protected state.possible environmental/equipment sources. Blind end (or dead end): A length of pipe closed atAugmented care units/settings: There is no fixed one end through which no water passes.definition of “augmented care”; individual providers Colony forming unit: Unit that gives rise to amay wish to designate a particular service as one bacterial colony when grown on a solid medium; thiswhere water quality must be of a higher may be a single bacterial cell or a clump of cells.microbiological standard than that provided by thesupplier. While this document provides broad Dead-leg: A pipe supplying water to a fittingguidance, the water quality required will be through which water flows only when there is draw-dependent on both the type of patient and its off from the fitting.intended use. Most care that is designated as Estates and Facilities management: This titleaugmented will be that where medical/nursing embraces the healthcare facilities themselves and theprocedures render the patients susceptible to invasive engineering and many other services containeddisease from environmental and opportunistic therein. Maintenance and management of thepathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other buildings and engineering services is often referred toalert organisms. In broad terms, these patient groups as “hard” FM (facilities management); activities suchwill include: as catering, cleaning, sterile supply services, laundry and linen supply is often referred to as “soft” FM. a. those patients who are severely immunosuppressed because of disease or Flow straightener: A device inserted into the spout treatment: this will include transplant patients outlet of a tap to modify flow, take out turbulence and similar heavily immunosuppressed patients and create an even stream of water (see photograph during high-risk periods in their therapy; below). b. those cared for in units where organ support is necessary, for example critical care (adult paediatric and neonatal), renal, respiratory (may include cystic fibrosis units) or other intensive care situations; c. those patients who have extensive breaches in their dermal integrity and require contact with water as part of their continuing care, such as Point-of-use filter: A device comprising a filter in those units caring for burns. membrane that is fitted to water outlets such as taps and showers at the point of water delivery to retain bacteria. v
  8. 8. Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitsRemediation: Any process that reduces the risk fromharmful agents such as microorganisms. List of abbreviations cfu: colony forming unitsTransmission: Any mechanism by which aninfectious agent is spread from a person or DIPC: director of infection prevention andenvironmental source to a susceptible person. controlWater outlet: (In this document) refers mainly to HCAI Code of Practice: ‘The Health and Socialtaps and showerheads, but other outlets, as indicated Care Act 2008: Code of Practice on theby risk assessments, may be considered important. prevention and control of infections and related guidance’Water Safety Group (WSG): A multidisciplinarygroup formed to undertake the commissioning and IPC: infection prevention and controldevelopment of the water safety plan (WSP). It also MCA: milk cetrimide agaradvises on the remedial action required when watersystems or outlets are found to be contaminated and MRD: maximum recovery diluentthe risk to susceptible patients is increased. PFI: private finance initiativeWater safety plan (WSP): A risk-management PHE: Public Health Englandapproach to the microbiological safety of water that POU: point-of-useestablishes good practices in local water distributionand supply. It will identify potential microbiological TMV: thermostatic mixing valvehazards caused by P. aeruginosa and other WRAS: Water Regulations Advisory Schemeopportunistic pathogens, consider practical aspects,and detail appropriate control measures. WSPs are WSG: Water Safety Groupworking documents that need to be kept up-to-date WSP: water safety planand reviewed whenever organisations make changesto water supplies, uses of water and controlmeasures.Water supply [to the hospital]: The water suppliedcan be via: • the mains water supply from the local water undertaker (water company); • a hospital borehole; • a combination of mains water and borehole supply; • emergency water provision (bulk tankered water or bottled drinking water). For definition of taps/TMVs, see Appendix 2.vi
  9. 9. Chapter 1 – Introduction1.0Introduction1.1 This addendum to Health TechnicalMemorandum 04-01 is aimed at those involved with NHS Premises Assurance Modelpatient safety and specifically Estates and Facilities The NHS has developed, with the support of theand infection prevention and control (IPC) teams. Department of Health, the NHS Premises Assurance Model (NHS PAM), whose remit is to1.2 It focuses on the specific additional measures to provide assurance for the healthcare environmentcontrol/minimise the risk of P. aeruginosa, but may and to ensure service-users are protected againstalso have relevance to other opportunistic pathogens risks associated with such hazards as unsafesuch as Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Burkholderia premises.cepacia and atypical mycobacteria. It allows NHS organisations to better understand1.3 The recommendations for the control of the effectiveness, quality and safety with whichLegionella etc given in Health Technical they manage their estate (including water safety)Memorandum 04-01 remain extant. and how that links to the patient experience.1.4 Additional general requirements for the quality NHS PAM has been designed to apply to:assurance of water systems including those withinhealthcare facilities should be followed (see the • NHS foundation trusts;Health & Safety Executive’s ‘Legionnaire’s disease: • NHS trusts;the control of legionella bacteria in water systems –Approved Code of Practice and guidance’ and the • mental health trusts;NHS Premises Assurance Model). • ambulance trusts; and • community trusts. For more information on how to use the tool, visit http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2013/01/nhs­ pam 1
  10. 10. Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units2.0 Pseudomonas aeruginosa: overviewEcology • direct contact with the water through:2.1 P. aeruginosa is a Gram-negative bacterium, – ingestingcommonly found in wet or moist environments. It iscommonly associated with disease in humans with – bathingthe potential to cause infections in almost any organor tissue, especially in patients compromised by – contact with mucous membranes or surgicalunderlying disease, age or immune deficiency (see site, orparagraph 2.3). Its significance as a pathogen is – through splashing from water outlets orexacerbated by its resistance to antibiotics, virulence basins (where the flow from the outletfactors and its ability to adapt to a wide range of causes splashback from the surface);environments. • inhalation of aerosols from respiratory2.2 P. aeruginosa thrives in relatively nutrient-poor equipment, devices that produce an aerosol orenvironments at a range of different temperatures open suctioning of wound irrigations;and can become one of the species in biofilms wherea slime layer binds a mixed bacterial population to • medical devices/equipment rinsed with surfaces. Although most bacteria will remain fixed contaminated water;within the biofilm, some will become detachedresulting in free-floating (planktonic) forms that can • indirect contact via healthcare workers’ handscause contamination of the water layer above the following washing hands in contaminatedbiofilm. water, from surfaces contaminated with water or from contaminated equipment such as reusable wash-bowls.Transmission2.3 P. aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen thatcan colonise and cause infection in patients who are Sourceimmunocompromised or whose defences have been 2.5 It is generally accepted in the case of Legionellabreached (for example, via a surgical site, that the source of bacteria in hot- and cold-watertracheostomy or indwelling medical device such as a systems is the incoming water supply and that itvascular catheter). In most cases, colonisation will becomes a problem only if there is a failure of theprecede infection. Some colonised patients will recommended control measures (for example,remain well but can act as sources for colonisation maintenance of temperatures or water treatmentand infection of other patients. As a microorganism regimens).that is often found in water, the more frequent the 2.6 In contrast to Legionella, the origin ofdirect or indirect contact between a susceptible P. aeruginosa is less certain. Its presence becomespatient and contaminated water, and the greater the evident at outlets from the system (for example taps)microbial contamination of the water, then the and can be found within the last two metres beforehigher the potential for patient colonisation or the point of discharge of water. Devices fitted to, orinfection. close to, the tap outlet (for example flow2.4 Contaminated water in a hospital setting can straighteners) may exacerbate the problem bytransmit P. aeruginosa to patients through the providing the nutrients which support microbialfollowing ways: growth, providing a surface area for oxygenation of2
  11. 11. Chapter 2 – Pseudomonas aeruginosa: overviewwater and leaching nutrients. The source, therefore, 2.10 Estates and facilities staff should ensure accuratecould be: records and drawings/diagrams showing the layout and operational manuals of the whole water system • the incoming water supply from the water are available. These staff should have received provider; adequate training and be fully aware of the extent of • the water supply within the building (both their responsibilities. Strict adherence to the from the storage and distribution system), recommendations in Health Technical usually within biofilms; Memorandum 04-01 will help to achieve this (see Chapter 4). • the waste-water system (see Breathnach et al. 2012); or 2.11 IPC teams should: • via external contamination from: • ensure application of, and compliance with, the evidence-based guidelines for preventing – clinical areas healthcare-associated infections in NHS hospitals in England (see Pratt et al. (2007)); – outlet users • ensure best practice advice relating to wash- – poor hygiene or processes during cleaning hand basins is followed to minimise the risk of – splashback from contaminated drains. P. aeruginosa contamination (see Appendix 1).2.7 Given this variety, the challenge for managers 2.12 The ‘Health and Social Care Act 2008: Code ofand staff is to risk-assess their particular operational Practice on the prevention and control of infectionspractices in an attempt to minimise inoculation from and related guidance’ (the HCAI code of Practice)any of these sources. sets out the criteria against which a registered provider’s compliance with the requirements relating to cleanliness and infection control will be assessedManagement of control by the Care Quality Commission. It also provides2.8 Management of water systems to reduce the risk guidance on how the provider can interpret andof microbial growth including opportunistic meet the registration requirement and comply withpathogens such as Legionella and P. aeruginosa is vital the law. Criterion 2 states that providers shouldto patient safety. It requires surveillance and provide and maintain a clean and appropriatemaintenance of control measures including environment in managed premises that facilitates thetemperature control, usage, cleaning and disinfection prevention and control of infections.measures as identified within the risk assessment andLegionella control scheme for both hot- and cold- 2.13 IPC teams should continue to monitor clinicalwater systems. isolates of P. aeruginosa in risk-assessed augmented care units as an alert organism and be aware of2.9 To prevent growth of P. aeruginosa, controls are possible outbreaks or clusters of infection with thisnecessary to manage the water system before and microorganism.after the outlet (comprehensive advice is given inChapter 4). 3
  12. 12. Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units3.0 Design and selection of water outlets and fittings3.1 With the change in focus towards improving the are usually manually controlled (on and off ) and canpatient environment and minimising the risk of be adjusted to further reduce outlet temperature tohealthcare-associated infections, there has been an fully cold. For some applications, remote sensor-increase in the provision of single-bed rooms with operated taps are available (many sensor taps alsoen-suite facilities. Additionally, to promote good have the option of auto-flushing programmes andhand hygiene, wash-hand basin provision has can be linked to the hospital’s building managementincreased significantly in all clinical areas. However, system). In some instances these developments havein many situations this has led to underused water led to a more complicated internal tap design whichoutlets and low water throughput. Such outlets form may increase the need for additional routinea greater risk of contamination by P. aeruginosa than maintenance (including decontamination) tothose that are used more frequently. mitigate the risk of contamination by P. aeruginosa.3.2 Water services have become more complex. 3.5 The choice and type of water outlets for theEvery effort should be made when planning, augmented care setting is therefore important (seedesigning and installing new or modified systems to Appendix 2). This choice should be based on a riskminimise and remove potential hazards (for example assessment of infection-control and scalding issues.oversized water storage tanks, flexible hoses, stagnant 3.6 There is some evidence that the more complexwater, poor temperature control, long branch pipes the design of the outlet assembly (for example, someand dead-legs), as well as enabling access for sensor-operated taps), the more prone tomonitoring and maintenance. Adapting existing P. aeruginosa colonisation the outlet may be (seesystems to improve safety is almost always the more Berthelot et al. 2006).expensive solution. 3.7 In intensive care and other critical care areas,3.3 In new and existing premises, therefore, it is where patients are unlikely to be able to use theessential that the needs of individual patient washing wash-hand basins, the installation of non-TMVand bathing requirements are carefully considered. In mixing taps may be the preferred control optionnew premises, the provision, correct siting and following a risk assessment (see paragraph 1 ininstallation of showers and wash-hand basins, Appendix 2).particularly in accommodation where patients areunlikely to make use of them, requires assessment. Note:For existing premises, and subject to a riskassessment, permanent removal of existing outlets For clinical wash-hand basins, Health Buildingand their associated pipework should be considered. Note 00-10 Part C – ‘Sanitary assemblies’ (formerly Health Technical Memorandum 64)3.4 Tap design has evolved. In older installations, recommends integral thermostatically controlledthermostatic control of water temperature was water using either a single-lever tap or a sensorachieved by a separate thermostatic mixing valve tap for most applications and settings. If risk(TMV) (commonly called a t-shaped TMV), assessment justifies a different tap assembly fortypically located behind the sanitary assembly panel clinical wash-hand basins in augmented careto which a wash-hand basin or other assembly was settings, then derogation from Health Buildingfitted, which then supplied water to the hot Note 00-10 Part C may be considered so long asconnection of a manual mixing tap or separate tap it is approved by the Water Safety Group (WSG).(see Figure 4). Many new installations now includetaps of a modern design with integral TMVs. They4
  13. 13. Chapter 3 – Design and selection of water outlets and fittings3.8 In accordance with Health Technical 3.9 Owing to their high surface-area-to-volume ratioMemorandum 04-01 Part A, TMVs should be fitted and location at the tap outlet, certain designs of flowwhere risk assessment has shown vulnerable patients straightener may present a greater surface area forare at risk of scalding. This should be considered colonisation and support the growth of organisms.when planning/designing new builds or Therefore, when selecting new taps, where possiblerefurbishments. A TMV that is integral to the body flow straighteners should be avoided/not included.of the tap/shower is preferred, as it is designed to Health Building Note 00-09 also advises againstalways draw cold water through every time the outlet using aerators in outlets.is used, thus helping to minimise the risk of 3.10 If retro-fitting new taps, it is important tostagnation. ensure that they are easy to use and practical for the existing space. Note: 3.11 For guidance on replacing taps, see paragraph Scalding risk assessments should form part of the 4.49(k). water safety plan (WSP) before any decision is made on the method of scalding risk control (see paragraphs 4.11–4.26). 5
  14. 14. Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units4.0 Operational management • the director of infection prevention and control Note: (DIPC); This addendum focuses on the specific additional • the IPC team; measures to control/minimise the risk of P. aeruginosa, but may also have relevance to • consultant medical microbiologist; other opportunistic pathogens such as • the Estates and Facilities team (including hotel/ Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Burkholderia cleaning services staff and the Responsible cepacia and atypical mycobacteria. The Person (Water)); recommendations for the control of Legionella • senior nurses from relevant augmented care given in Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 units. remain extant; however, the operational management processes outlined in this The chair of the group will be a local decision. addendum may also assist in the implementation 4.3 Irrespective of who chairs the group, they will be of Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Part B. responsible for ensuring it identifies microbiological hazards, assesses risks, identifies and monitors control measures, and develops incident protocols.Introduction 4.4 Episodes of colonisation or infection with4.1 Healthcare organisations have an explicit duty P. aeruginosa that could be related to the waterunder the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 to system should be reported by the IPC team to theassess and manage the risks posed by water systems chair of the WSG, who will be expected to initiateon their premises. In accordance with the HCAI an appropriate investigation.Code of Practice, the healthcare organisation’s chiefexecutive is responsible for having systems in place to 4.5 The WSG should always act in an appropriatemanage and monitor the prevention and control of and timely manner. Individual responsibilities shouldinfection. These systems use risk assessments and not be restricted by the need to hold formalconsider how susceptible patients are, and any risks meetings.that their environment and other users may pose to 4.6 As part of its wider remit, the WSG shouldthem. Ensuring these elements are in place will assist include representatives from areas where water maythe organisation to fulfil its duties in relation to the be used in therapies, medical treatments orprovision of safe water systems. A programme of decontamination processes (for example,audit should be in place to ensure that key policies hydrotherapy, renal, sterile services).and practices are being implementedappropriately.  This will inform the organisation’s Assurance/governanceassurance framework. 4.7 The WSG should be accountable to the DIPC and provide reports upwards, for example to theThe Water Safety Group infection control committee (although it is4.2 The WSG is a multidisciplinary group formed to acknowledged that accountability arrangements forundertake the commissioning and development of the WSG will vary by healthcare provider).the WSP. It also advises on the remedial action Irrespective of the route the healthcare providerrequired when water systems or outlets are found to decides, it is important that accountability shouldbe contaminated and the risk to susceptible patients demonstrate effective governance and assurance.is increased. The WSG may be a sub-group of the 4.8 The WSG should monitor any proposedorganisation’s infection control committee or other developments on the design or installation of therelevant forum and could typically comprise: water distribution system and check that they are:6
  15. 15. Chapter 4 – Operational management • likely to minimise the risk to patients, 4.13 With respect to P. aeruginosa, the WSP should especially those treated in augmented care identify areas within hospitals with at-risk patients settings; and incorporate: • compliant with all extant legislation and DH • clinical risk assessment to identify those settings policy and guidance. where patients are at significant risk from P. aeruginosa contamination associated with4.9 All items of equipment that need to be attached water use and its distribution system;to the water distribution system and which may beused in direct care on patients should be approved by • an engineering risk assessment of the waterthe WSG. system;4.10 The WSG will need to ensure that decisions • operational monitoring of control measures;affecting the safety and integrity of the water system • links to clinical surveillance which can offer ando not go ahead without being agreed by them. early warning of poor water quality; Note: • plans for the sampling and microbiological Where estates & facilities provider services are testing of water in identified at-risk units (see part of a contract (including PFI), it is essential Appendices 3 and 4). that these providers participate fully in all aspects Note: of estate & facilities management that can affect patients. This includes responding to specific Appendix 4 has been developed to provide requests from the IPC team and WSG, which technical guidance for a range of laboratories, may be in addition to relevant guidance and including NHS, Public Health England (PHE) documentation. and commercial laboratories that have the capability and capacity to undertake water sampling and testing.Water safety plans (WSPs)4.11 To assist with understanding and mitigating • changes to the water system to remedy highrisks associated with bacterial contamination of counts for P. aeruginosa and other opportunisticwater distribution and supply systems and associated pathogens where appropriate;equipment, healthcare providers should develop a • adjustments to clinical practice until remedialWSP, which provides a risk-management approach actions have been demonstrated to be effective;to the microbiological safety of water and establishesgood practices in local water usage, distribution and • regular removal/cleaning/descaling orsupply (see Figure 1). Those organisations with replacement of the water outlets, hoses andexisting robust water management policies for TMVs where there may be direct or indirectLegionella will already have in place much of the water contact with patients (see Healthintegral requirements for developing a WSP. Technical Memorandum 04-01);4.12 The first step in the development of a WSP is • amendments when changes are carried out andto gain a comprehensive understanding of the water at annual review, including new builds,system, including the range of potential hazards, refurbishments and recently decommissionedhazardous events and risks that may arise during clinical departments or units;storage, delivery and use of water. It may require an • documentation and record-keeping (bestunderstanding of the quality and management of the practice examples of the types of documentationwater as provided and how that water is used. and record keeping required are given in HealthFundamental to this and any subsequent Technical Memorandum 04-01);investigation or review is the provision andavailability of accurate records/schematic drawings. • a review of the results of any water testing regimen undertaken. 7
  16. 16. Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitsFigure 1 Documentation of management procedures (adapted from Figure 4.1 in WHO’s ‘Water safety inbuildings’) Description of water system System risk assessments Identification of potential hazards Supportive training and review programmes Determine existing control measures Periodic review (at least annually Assess and prioritise risks Identify additional or improved control measures Controlling risks Implement and maintain monitoring and Identification of potential hazards control measures Define corrective actions Verification and auditing8
  17. 17. Chapter 4 – Operational management4.14 The WSP should identify potential alert • scalding risk;organisms and microbiological hazards caused by • clinical practice where water may come intoLegionella, P. aeruginosa and other opportunistic contact with patients and their invasive devices;pathogens, consider practical aspects and detailappropriate control measures. The implementation • the cleaning of patient equipment;of the WSP should be coordinated by the • the disposal of blood, body fluids and patients’Responsible Person (Water). Implementation status wash-water;reports should be periodically submitted to theWSG. • the maintenance and cleaning of wash-hand basins and associated taps, specialist baths and4.15 Development of the WSP will complement the other water outlets;existing operational management requirements ofHealth Technical Memorandum 04-01 and the work • change in use (for example, clinical areathat has to be undertaken to fulfil the statutory changed to office accommodation or vice-versa)requirement for a Legionella risk assessment and due to refurbishment or operational necessity;written scheme for its control and management. • other devices that increase/decrease the4.16 The multidisciplinary group that developed the temperature of water (for example, ice-makingWSP also has a role in advising on the remedial machines, water chillers) which may not beaction and communication required, should one or appropriate in augmented care settings;more outlets be found to be contaminated and where • engineering assessment of water systems,this may increase the risks to susceptible patients (see including correct design installation,paragraph 4.49). commissioning, maintenance and verification4.17 WSPs are working documents that need to be of the effectiveness of control measures (seekept up-to-date and reviewed at least annually by the also the Water Supply (Water Fittings)WSG and whenever incidents occur or organisations Regulations);make changes to: • underused outlets; • water supplies and uses; • flushing policy; • control measures; • the unnecessary use of flexible hoses and any • its risk-management policies. containing inappropriate lining materials; • sampling, monitoring and testing programmeRisk assessments that needs to be put in place;4.18 The risk assessments that inform the WSP • the need for outlets at wash-hand basins thatshould identify potential microbiological hazards use sensor operation and TMVs (remote/caused by P. aeruginosa and other opportunistic integral);pathogens, and the hazardous events and risks thatmay arise during storage, delivery and use of water in • education and training.augmented care settings. 4.21 Although not under the category of augmented4.19 They should identify actions to minimise these care, situations will arise where surgical wounds mayrisks and ensure that appropriate sampling, become contaminated from water outlets such asmonitoring and clinical surveillance arrangements showers. Similarly the practice of soaking leg ulcersare in place. or syringing ears may require consideration of the microbiological quality of water used and will4.20 Risk assessments should be led by the DIPC, a require local assessment.consultant microbiologist or the IPC teamrepresentative and should consider: 4.22 The likelihood of hazardous events is influenced by the size and complexity of the water • the susceptibility of patients from each type of system and can be exacerbated by poor or over­ water use (including ice); 9
  18. 18. Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitscomplicated design, construction, commissioning, (i) water where testing has shown absence ofoperation and maintenance (see Chapter 3). P. aeruginosa; or4.23 Once potential hazards and hazardous events (ii) water supplied through a point-of-use have been identified, the severity of risk needs to be (POU) filter; orassessed so that priorities for risk management can beestablished. The risk assessment needs to consider (iii) sterile water (for example, for skin contactthe likelihood and severity of hazards and hazardous for babies in neonatal intensive care units).events in the context of exposure (type, extent and b. Water outlets should be reviewed where therefrequency) and the vulnerability of those exposed. may be direct or non-direct contact withAlthough many hazards may threaten water quality, patients. This may also include reviewing thenot all will represent a high risk. The aim should be need for the outlets/showers and their potentialto distinguish between high and low risks so that removal.attention can be focused on mitigating risks that aremore likely to cause harm to susceptible patients c. For patient hygiene, single-use wipes should bewho are experiencing augmented care (see Appendix considered.5 for an example risk assessment). d. Rigorous reinforcement of standard infection control practices, including refresher training,Action plan should be implemented.4.24 When the risks have been identified, an actionplan needs to be developed with defined roles and e. The cleaning of clinical wash-hand basins andresponsibilities, and agreed timescales to minimise the taps should be undertaken in a way thatthese risks. The action plan should include: does not allow cross-contamination from a bacterial source to the tap (see Appendix 1) . • appropriate remedial actions, monitoring details and schedules for validation that show f. The cleaning of patient contact equipment (for the remedial actions are effective and subject to example, tap handles, incubators, humidifiers, ongoing verification. Completion dates should nebulisers and respiratory equipment) should be defined. be reviewed. Options would be to: • any training and competency issues required to (i) use single-use equipment; ensure compliance with this guidance. (ii) if locally reprocessed – even if used on the same patient – clean equipment withDocumentation water of a known satisfactory quality (see (a)4.25 All records pertaining to the risk assessment above);and action plan should be held and managed by theWSG. (iii) use single-use detergent wipes for cleaning incubators. If a disinfectant is used, it isManagement of water safety risks and issues important that it will not cause damage to4.26 Identified water safety risks and issues should the material of the incubator.be assessed, prioritised and included on a risk register Manufacturers’ instructions should befor discussion and management by the WSG. followed. Disinfectants should not be used to clean incubators while occupied.Protecting augmented care patients g. All other uses of water on augmented care units4.27 The following paragraphs give examples of best should be considered (for example, the use ofpractice advice aimed at protecting the susceptible ice machines, drinking water fountains, bottledpatient and ensuring a safe environment: water dispensers, wet shaving of patients who have a central venous catheter inserted into the a. For direct contact with patients, water of a jugular vein and washing patients with known satisfactory quality should be used, that indwelling devices) and appropriate action/ is: changes to operational procedures taken.10
  19. 19. Chapter 4 – Operational management n. It should be ensured that:Notes: (i) accurate records and drawings cover all the1. Tap water should not be used in neonatal hot- and cold-water systems and that they units for the process of defrosting frozen breast have been updated following any milk. modification;2. Water features should not be installed in augmented care units. (ii) all services are properly labelled such that the individual services can be easily identified;h. All patient equipment should be stored clean, dry and away from potential splashing with (iii) staff who are engaged in the installation, water. removal and replacement of outlets and associated pipework and fittings are suitablyi. All preparation areas for aseptic procedures and trained to prevent contamination of the drug preparation and any associated sterile outlet and water system. equipment should not be located where they are at risk of splashing/contamination from water outlets. Sampling and testing for P. aeruginosaj. All taps that are used infrequently on Note: augmented care units should be flushed Experience to date has shown no meaningful regularly (at least daily in the morning for one correlation between the presence and count of minute). If the outlet is fitted with a POU P. aeruginosa and total viable counts (TVC) of filter, the filter should not be removed in order bacteria. Consequently, the determination of to flush the tap unless the manufacturer’s TVC need not be done routinely in parallel with instructions advise otherwise. A record should testing for P. aeruginosa. be kept of when they were flushed. Some taps can be programmed to flush automatically; such flushing may be recorded on the building P. aeruginosa in the water supply management system. 4.28 P. aeruginosa may be present within the water storage, distribution and delivery systems and also ink. TMVs and associated components should be the water supplied to the hospital. serviced, including descale and decontamination, at recommended intervals 4.29 The sampling protocol (Appendix 3) is (see the TMV approval scheme at http://www. intended to help healthcare providers establish buildcert.com/tmv3.htm). whether the water in augmented care units is contaminated with P. aeruginosa and, if it is, to helpl. A TMV that is integral to the body of the tap/ locate its origin and to monitor the efficacy of shower should be considered, as it will always remedial measures. draw cold water through every time the outlet is used, thus helping to minimise the risk of 4.30 Biofilms exist on plumbing materials stagnation. throughout the water system. Where present, most P. aeruginosa will be found within two metres of them. Where taps are designed to be easily point of water delivery at the outlet – that is, after removed for maintenance purposes, they the water has left the circulation system. should be periodically removed for descaling and decontamination and/or placed in a 4.31 While most bacteria are trapped within a washer-disinfector (subject to the tap biofilm, the biofilm will constantly generate bacteria manufacturer’s instructions). that are released as free-floating individual cells (planktonic forms), and parts of the biofilm may slough off in clumps. The concentration of these planktonic bacteria will build up over time in the 11
  20. 20. Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitswater adjacent to a biofilm when the water is of a • is used to wash staff hands; orlow flow rate or stagnant, but will be diluted as wateris used and flows through the pipework or tap • used to clean equipment that will have contactcontaining the biofilm. with patients as determined by risk assessment.4.32 It is essential to maximise the recovery of these When and how to sample water outletsfree-floating planktonic bacteria that cause infection; 4.40 The outlets identified above should be sampledtherefore, water samples should be taken: to provide an initial assessment of contamination a. during a period of, preferably, no use (at least levels. There is no need to sample all taps that are 2 hours or preferably longer); or due to be sampled on the same occasion; samples can be taken in batches on separate occasions. It may b. low use. assist the receiving laboratory if the sampling4.33 The same water outlet can give very different schedule is agreed beforehand (see Figure 2 and alsoresults if sampled at times of normal use and may be Appendix 3).negative if water from the tap has been used before asample is collected. Interpretation of P. aeruginosa test results 4.41 If test results are satisfactory (not detected),4.34 The first water to be delivered from the outlet there is no need to repeat sampling for a period of six(pre-flush sample) should be collected to assess the months unless there are changes in the watermicrobial contamination in the outlet. distribution and delivery systems components or4.35 If water flows over a biofilm containing system configuration (for example, refurbishmentsP. aeruginosa located at or near the outlet, planktonic that could lead to the creation of dead-legs) orbacteria arising from that biofilm will be diluted and occupancy.a subsequent sample will give low bacterial counts. If 4.42 Water sampling could be undertaken within sixcontamination is upstream in the system, this will months if there are clinical evidence-based suspicionsnot affect bacterial counts. that the water may be a source of patient4.36 The sample obtained after allowing water to colonisation or infection (that is, with P. aeruginosaflow from an outlet is referred to as a “post-flush” or another potentially water-associated pathogen).sample (see paragraphs 12 and 13 in Appendix 4.43 If tests show counts of 1–10 cfu/100 mL, refer3). Comparison of counts from pre- and post-flush to the WSG, who should risk-assess the use of watersamples can help locate the source of the in the unit. Simultaneously, retesting of the waterP. aeruginosa. If a pre-flush sample gives a high outlet should be undertaken (see Figure 2 and Notecount, subsequent paired pre- and post-flush samples below).should be tested to help locate the source of the 4.44 If test results are not satisfactory (>10 cfu/contamination. 100 mL), further sampling along with an engineering4.37 In order to be able to carry out the appropriate survey of the water system could be used to identifymicrobiological examinations on a sample and problem areas and modifications that may beprovide a meaningful interpretation of test results, it implemented to improve water quality.is essential that samples are collected in the correct 4.45 After such interventions, the water should bemanner using the correct equipment and that the resampled (see Figure 2 for suggested frequencies).sampling protocol in Appendix 3 is adhered to.4.38 Protocols for microbiological examination of Note:samples are provided in Appendix 4. Figure 2 gives an example of sampling frequencies. Sampling may be undertaken moreWhere to sample water outlets frequently according to the risk assessment. It is4.39 The water outlets to be sampled should be important that samples are taken as described inthose that supply water which: Appendix 3 to avoid false negatives. • has direct contact with patients;12
  21. 21. Chapter 4 – Operational management Figure 2 Summary of suggested water sampling and testing frequencies Water sample (pre-flush) Not detected 1–10 cfu/100 mL >10 cfu/100 mL Risk-assess removing outlet from service and retest (pre-/post-flush) +ve Remediation Retest (pre-/post-flush) (see paragraph 4.49) Satisfactory: +ve –ve Retest at 3 days no further action required –ve Reinstate outlet and retest +ve after an additional 2 weeks –ve Retest after an additional +ve 4 weeks –ve Sample every 6 monthsInterpretation of pre- and post-flush counts • A few positive outlets, where the majority of4.46 High counts in pre-flush samples but with low outlets are negative, would also indicate that counts or none detected at post-flush could indicate the source of contamination is at or close to the that areas/fittings at or near the outlets are the source outlet.of contamination (see Table 1). • If both pre- and post-flush samples from a particular outlet are >100 cfu/100 mL and otherTable 1 Interpretation of pre- and post-flush counts High P. aeruginosa count pre-flush (>10 cfu/100 mL) Suggestive of a local water outlet problem and low post-flush count (<10 cfu/100 mL) High P. aeruginosa count pre-flush (>10 cfu/100 mL) Suggestive of a problem not related to a local water and high post-flush count (>10 cfu/100 mL) outlet but to a wider problem within the water supply system 13
  22. 22. Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitsFigure 3 Summary of sampling procedure and interpretation of results for P. aeruginosa Samples taken in accordance with agreed written protocols, on behalf of the Estates & Facilities department, and correctly stored (if appropriate) and transported to a laboratory that is capable of processing and testing. Results returned to nominated Estates & Facilities and IPC teams that are members of the Water Safety Group. Results requiring action are identified. Nominated people informed. Appropriate course of action per outlet is implemented. Not detected 1–10 cfu/100 mL >10 cfu/100 mL No further action See paragraph See paragraphs required. 4.43 4.44 and 4.45 nearby outlets have no or low counts, this shows then be sampled to assess the extent of the problem that the single outlet is heavily contaminated, (see Table 1). despite the high post-flush count. This could be 4.48 Figure 3 provides a summary of the sampling explored by testing dilutions of pre- and post- procedure and interpretation of results for flush water samples from this outlet or by using P. aeruginosa. an extended flush such as for 5 minutes prior to post-flush sampling. What to do if a contamination problem Note: is identified Overlaying sample results onto schematic 4.49 Should risk assessment or water testing identify drawings of the system may help to identify the contamination with P. aeruginosa, the following risk source of contamination and locations for reduction and preventive measures should be additional sampling. considered. a. If a water outlet has been taken out of service4.47 If the sampling indicates that the water services because of contamination with P. aeruginosa,are the problem, then most outlets would possibly be continue daily flushing while the outlet is outpositive and other points in the water system could14
  23. 23. Chapter 4 – Operational management of normal use to prevent water stagnation and Figure 4 Dead-leg formed by the cold pipework when a exacerbation of the contamination. TMV is installed upstream of a mixing tapb. Where practical, consider removal of flow Hot water Hot water Cold water Hot water Hot water straighteners. However, the removal of flow return flow supply return flow straighteners may result in splashing and therefore additional remedial action may need to be taken. If they are seen to be needed, periodically remove them and either clean/ TMV Cold water disinfect or replace them. Replacement supply frequency should be verified by sampling/ TMV swabbing. Mixed safe hotc. Splashing can promote dissemination of water supply Cold water to tap supply to tap organisms, resulting in basin outlets becoming heavily contaminated. If splashing is found to Cold water be a problem, investigate the causes. Example supply to tap causes include: (i) the tap’s designed flow profile is incompatible with the basin; Manual mixing tap (ii) the tap discharges directly into the waste aperture; (a) (b) In the case of (a), as the tap lever is moved progressively from (iii) incorrect height between tap outlet and left to right, only cold water will be drawn through initially. surface of the basin; When fully to the right, cold water will cease to flow and water will flow from the upstream TMV. (iv) excess water pressure; In the case of (b), if the lever remains in the fully hot position, as (v) a blocked or malfunctioning flow it is raised to draw-off water, there may never be flow from the direct cold-water pipe supplying the tap. straightener.d. Hand-washing should be supplemented with water system, it can be beneficial to arrange the the use of antimicrobial hand-rub. pipework run so that it ends at a frequentlye. To prevent water stagnation, check for used outlet. A dead-leg may also exist when a underused outlets – assess frequency of usage TMV is installed upstream of a mixing tap (see and if necessary remove underused outlet(s). Figure 4). Depending on the activities of the For example, the provision of showers in areas room in which the tap is located, cold water where patients are predominantly confined to may never be drawn through the pipe between bed, and the resultant lack of use, could lead to the cold water connections of the mixing valve stagnation. and mixing tap.f. Check connections to mixing taps to ensure g. Assess the water system for blind ends and that the supply to the hot connection is not dead-legs (for example, where water is supplied supplied from an upstream TMV. In a hot- to both the cold-water outlet and a TMV water service, a dead-leg will exist between the supplying an adjacent blended water outlet, as circulating pipework and hot connection of a such cold-water outlets in augmented care units fitting such as a mixing tap. In the case of cold- may be commonly underused). When water services, sometimes there will be no removing outlets, the branch hot- and cold- draw-off from any part of the system and the water pipes should also be cut back to the main entire service is in effect a dead-leg. To distribution pipework in order to eliminate minimise the stagnation of water in a cold- blind ends. 15
  24. 24. Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units h. Assess the water distribution system for non­ and the inner surface can become metallic materials that may be used in items contaminated (see Health Technical such as inline valves, test points and flexible Memorandum 04-01 Part B). hoses. They should be replaced according to the guidance in safety alert (DH (2010) 03: k. In certain circumstances, the WSG may decide ‘Flexible water supply hoses’. it is necessary to carry out a disinfection of the hot- and cold-water distribution systems that i. All materials must be WRAS-approved and supply the unit to ensure that contaminated must not leach chemicals that provide nutrients outlets are treated. See Health Technical that support microbiological growth. Materials Memorandum 04-01 (Part A Chapter 17) for should also be compatible with the physical guidance on how to carry out the disinfection and chemical characteristics of water supplied procedure. Note that with respect to to the building. Flexible pipes should only be P. aeruginosa, hyperchlorination is not effective used in exceptional circumstances (for example, against established biofilms. Consider replacing where height adjustment is necessary as in contaminated taps with new taps; however, installations such as rise-and-fall baths and there is currently a lack of scientific evidence to hand-held showers). suggest that this will provide a long-term solution. When replacing taps, consider fitting: j. POU filters, where they can be fitted, may be used to provide water free of P. aeruginosa. (i) removable taps; Where fitted, regard filters primarily as a (ii) taps that are easy to use; temporary measure until a permanent safe engineering solution is developed, although (iii) taps that can be readily dismantled for long-term use of such filters may be required in cleaning and disinfection; some cases. Where POU filters are fitted to (iv) taps to which a filter can be attached to the taps, follow the manufacturer’s spout outlet. Note: Such taps can be used recommendations for renewal and replacement for supplying water for cleaning incubators and note that the outer casing of a POU filter and other clinical equipment. Note: In the event of an outbreak or incident, further advice on the management of P. aeruginosa contamination in water systems can be sought from PHE.16
  25. 25. Appendix 1 – Best practice advice relating to clinical wash-hand basinsAppendix 1 – Best practice advicerelating to all clinical wash-handbasins in healthcare facilities d. Do not touch the spout outlet when washing Notes: hands. 1. Clinical wash-hand basins are particularly high risk. It is therefore important to ensure the e. Clean taps before the rest of the clinical wash- cleaning of these basins and the taps is hand basin. Do not transfer contamination undertaken in a way that does not allow cross- from wash-hand basin to wash-hand basin. contamination from a bacterial source to the tap. f. Do not dispose of used environmental cleaning During cleaning of basins and taps, there is a risk agents at clinical wash-hand basins. of contaminating tap outlets with microorganisms if the same cloth is used to clean g. Make sure that reusable containers containing the bowl of the basin or surrounding area before environmental cleaning agents are used in a the tap. Waste-water drain outlets are particularly manner that will protect them from risky parts of the basin/system and are almost contamination with P. aeruginosa (see Aumeran always contaminated (see Breathnach et al. 2012). et al. 2007; Ehrenkranz et al, 1980; Sautter et Bacteria may be of patient origin, so it is possible al., 1984). that bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant h. Use non-fillable single-use bottles for organisms, could seed the outlet, become resident antimicrobial hand-rub and soap. in any biofilm and have the potential to be transmitted to other patients. i. Consider the appropriate positioning of soap 2. If POU filters are fitted to taps, the same and antimicrobial hand-rub dispensers. The cleaning regimen applies to the wash-hand basin, compounds in the products can be a source of but clean the filter itself according to the nutrients to some microorganisms. Therefore, manufacturer’s instructions. Take care to avoid it is advisable to prevent soiling of the tap by contaminating the external surface and outlet of drips from the dispensers or during the the filter. movement of hands from the dispensers to the basin when beginning hand-washing.Use the clinical wash-hand basin only for hand- j. Identify and report any problems or concernswashing: relating to safety, maintenance and cleanliness of wash-hand basins to the WSG. Escalate a. Do not dispose of body fluids at the clinical unresolved issues to higher management and/or wash-hand basin – use the slophopper or sluice the IPC team as appropriate. in the dirty utility area. Management should ensure that all staff with b. Do not wash any patient equipment in clinical responsibility for cleaning should be adequately wash-hand basins. trained and made aware of the importance of high c. Do not use clinical wash-hand basins for standards of cleanliness. Refresher training should be storing used equipment awaiting given where a specific area does not maintain the decontamination. expected standard of cleanliness. Visual monitoring of domestic staff should be undertaken by means of regular audits. 17
  26. 26. Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care unitsAppendix 2 – Types and method ofoperation of taps and TMVsManual mixing taps (non-TMV): the user. (Some taps require the metal surface of the1. There are three main types of manual mixing tap: spout to be touched.) Water temperature is controlled by a TMV fitted upstream or downstream • Single sequential lever operation. This is the of the solenoid valve. simplest type. As the lever is moved from left to right, or vice-versa, cold water begins to flow Thermostatic mixing tap and progressively hot water is introduced into 3. These are often referred to as mixing taps with the tap body until a fully hot flow is achieved. integral TMVs. They contain an automatic • Single lever combined temperature and flow temperature-controlling device such as a TMV but control. This type has a lever that may be have an operating mechanism to adjust temperature moved from left to right to control temperature from fully cold to the maximum pre-set blended and raised and lowered to control and turn on water temperature permitted by the automatic and off the water flow. device. In the event of failure of the cold water • Dual lever. This type has separate lever supply, the mixed/blended temperature outlet port controls for both the hot and cold water supply will be automatically closed to prevent high water to the mixed temperature outlet. As these taps temperature being discharged. The operating are not normally accessible to patients, the mechanism can also control and turn on/off the provision of a thermostatic control may be seen water flow. They can also be separate mechanisms, as unnecessary. functioning independently, with one actuating the flow of mixed water at a fixed temperature and the Note: other actuating the flow of cold water. The decision whether to install a TMV in areas not normally accessible to patients should be Thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) based on a risk assessment (see paragraphs 4.11– 4. TMVs are typically configured as a t-shaped device 4.26). If the risk assessment determines that there with opposing hot and cold water inlets and a mixed/ is a potential scalding risk, the manual mixing blended temperature water outlet (see paragraph tap should be: 4.49(f)). They are pre-set to deliver a fixed temperature and, in the event of failure of the cold- a. preceded by a TMV to ensure that the hot water supply pressure, will automatically close to water at the point of discharge is supplied prevent discharge of excessively hot water at the outlet. at a safe temperature; b. a “Type 1” tap, which incorporates a Guidance on the selection of taps and basins maximum temperature stop to ensure both used in healthcare is given in Health Building hot and cold supplies are always flushed. Note 00-10 Part C – ‘Sanitary assemblies’. See Note after paragraph 3.7. For more information on the TMV approval scheme, visit BuildCert at http://www.buildcert. com/tmv3.htm).Sensor-operated tap Information on the construction and operation2. This is essentially an outlet spout of a tap with no of taps/TMVs used in healthcare can be foundmanual lever or controls. On/off control of water is on the TMVA website (http://www.tmva.org.uk).by means of a solenoid valve that is activated by aninfrared or similar sensor to detect the presence of18
  27. 27. Appendix 3 – Water samplingAppendix 3 – Water sampling1. Sampling should be undertaken by staff trained in sender’s reference, pre- or post-flush (see paragraphthe appropriate technique for taking water samples 12), person sampling, date and time of sampling.including the use of aseptic technique to minimise 7. If P. aeruginosa has been found in a pre-flushextraneous contamination. The method used in this sample, take a second paired set of samples. The firstguidance may differ from the collection of water would be a pre-flush sample as before. Run the tapsamples for other purposes (for example, for for two minutes and take a second identical post-sampling Legionella). flush sample. Bacteria in this second sample (termed2. Carefully label samples such that the outlet can be post-flush) are more likely to originate further backclearly identified; system schematics indicating each in the water system. A substantially higher bacterialnumbered outlet to be sampled can be helpful in this count in the pre-flush sample, compared with therespect. post-flush, should direct remedial measures towards3. The main strategy for sampling is to take the first the tap and associated pipework and fittings near tosample of water (pre-flush) delivered from a tap at a that outlet. A similar bacterial count in pre-flush andtime of no use (at least 2 hours or preferably longer) post-flush samples indicates that attention shouldor, if that is not possible, during a time of its lowest focus on the whole water supply, storage andusage. This will normally mean sampling in the early distribution system. A more extensive samplingmorning, although a variety of use patterns may regimen should be considered throughout the waterneed to be taken into account. distribution system, particularly if that result is obtained from a number of outlets.4. Disinfectants in the water, such as chlorine orchlorine dioxide, will have residual activity after 8. Although water sampling is the principal means oftaking the sample and may inactivate bacteria in the sampling, there may be occasions when watersample prior to its processing. To preserve the samples cannot be obtained immediately for analysis.microbial content of the sample, neutralise oxidising In the event of a suspected outbreak, swabbing waterbiocides by dosing the sample bottle with 18 mg of outlets (as per section 5.4 of the Standingsodium thiosulphate (equating to 18 mg/L in the Committee of Analysts’ (SCA) 2010 guidance) tofinal sample, which will neutralise up to 50 ppm obtain strains for typing may provide a means ofhypochlorite). Sterile bottles are normally purchased assessing a water outlet, but this does not replacecontaining the neutraliser. EDTA water sampling (see paragraph 15 on swabbing).(ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) may be used as aneutraliser for systems treated with copper and silver Procedure for obtaining the samplesions (BS 7592). The relevant Health & Safety 9. Pre-flush sample: Aseptically (that is, withoutExecutive’s advice regarding the use of elemental touching the screw thread, inside of the cap or insidecopper as biocide should be consulted (http://www. of the collection vessel) collect at least 200 mL waterhse.gov.uk/legionnaires/faqs.htm#silver-copper­ in a sterile collection vessel containing neutraliser.systems). Where disinfectants are being applied to Replace the cap and invert or shake to mix thethe water system, take advice on the appropriate neutraliser with the collected water.neutralisers to use. 10. Dependent upon the water distribution system5. The tap should not be disinfected by heat or design, and the type of water outlet, the water feedchemicals before sampling (pre- or post-flush – see to the outlet may be provided by:paragraph 12), nor should it be cleaned or disinfected • a separate cold-water supply and hot-waterimmediately before sampling. supply to separate outlets;6. Label a sterile collection vessel (200–1000 mL • a separate cold-water supply and hot-watervolume) containing a suitable neutraliser for any supply, which may have its final temperaturebiocide the water may contain. The labelling controlled by the use of an integral TMVinformation should contain details of the tap location, within the outlet; or 19
  28. 28. Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Addendum: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units above) before collecting at least 200 mL water in a sterile collection vessel with neutraliser. Replace the cap and invert or shake to mix the neutraliser with the collected water. This sample, when taken together with the pre-flush sample, will indicate whether the tap outlet and its associated components is contaminated or if the contamination is remote from the point of delivery (see Table 1). 13. If a sample from a shower is required, then place a sterile bag over the outlet. Using sterile scissors, cut a small section off the corner and collect the sample in a sampling container (see PHE’s (2013) ‘Guidelines for the collection, microbiological examination and interpretation of results from food, water and environmental samples taken from the healthcare environment’ (forthcoming)). Appropriate precautions should be taken to minimise aerosol production as described in BS 7592. 14. The collected water should be processed within 2 hours. If that is not possible, then it should be refrigerated within 2 hours and kept at 2–8°C and processed within 24 hours. 15. To take a swab sample, remove a sterile swab from its container and insert the tip into the nozzle of the tap. Care should be taken to ensure no otherCollect at least 200 mL water in a sterile collection vessel surfaces come into contact with the tip of the swab. Rub the swab around – that is, move it backwards • a separate cold-water and a pre-blended hot- and forwards and up and down, as much as possible, water supply that has had its temperature on the inside surface of the tap outlet or flow reduced by a TMV prior to delivery to the straightener (see photograph). Replace the swab outlet. carefully in its container, again ensuring no other11. For separate hot- and cold-water outlets, each surfaces come into contact with the tip of the swab.outlet is individually tested with its own collection Place the swab in a transport medium or maximumvessel and outlet identifier. For blended outlets (that recovery diluent (MRD) and send to the laboratory.is, where both hot and cold water come out of thesame outlet): • sample water with the mixing tap set to the fully cold position using an individual collection vessel and outlet identifier, and note the temperature setting; • sample the blended outlet set to the maximum available hot-water temperature using an individual collection vessel and outlet identifier, and note the temperature setting.12. Post-flush sample: where this is required, allowthe water to flow from the tap for 2 minutes (see A sterile swab should be rubbed on the inside surface of the tap outlet or flow straightener20